When Jesus is talking to the disciples, he tells them that they are appointed to bear lasting fruit.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.john 15:16-17
How do we ensure that we will produce fruit that lasts?
Traditionally at this time of year the harvest is being gathered, the fruit and vegetables from people’s allotments and gardens and hedgerows are being picked. In order to have fruit that will last through the winter some of this produce will be preserved in some way. Whilst it might not take a huge amount of skill, this process does require patience, time, care and love. Picking, sorting and cooking the fruit to turn it into something lasting, like jam or chutney, takes effort.
In the same way if we are to bear lasting fruit it will require these things
We need to be patient with ourselves, patient with God, patient with the process of bearing fruit, of developing a fertile place for seed to fall.
We need to take time, time for ourselves, time with God, time for other people
We need to take care of ourselves, to look after ourselves – physically, mentally and spiritually. We need to take care of others. To look out for the fruit and take care of it
We need to love and be loved.
In the Amplified Bible, verse 17 of John 15 is translated:
This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another.John 15:17
Part of the fruit of Jesus’s life on earth was the transformation of the disciples. In Luke 5 Peter first encounters Jesus:
‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’luke 5:8
When Peter then recognises Jesus following his resurrection, he can’t wait to jump out of the boat and run to Jesus (see John 21:7)
The patience, time care and love that Jesus invested in his disciples transformed Peter from a fearful, sinful man into a friend and confidant of Jesus.
So, bearing lasting fruit requires us to remain in Jesus, the vine, and to:
- Be patient
- Take time
- Take care
- Love and be loved